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How to behave in front of an alcoholic or on the point of becoming one? How To Help a Loved do you talk to him about his drinking problem without pointing him out? What aid is available in Reunion? The 6 things to know! 

One in 10 RĂ©unionese drinks alcohol every day, and our island is one of the French regions where alcohol kills the most. For drinkers but also for their loved ones, it is not always easy to know where the line lies between a reasonable, festive consumption, and an abusive consumption which risks causing dependence and can cause serious transformation health problems.

Fortunately, alcohol addiction is not inevitable, there are ways to get out of it! Within the couple, within the family, among your friends: here are 6 key answers to help a person dependent on alcohol.

Alcohol problems in the couple, among your friends, or within the family?


It is difficult to tell how addicted a loved one is based solely on their behavior, as reactions to alcohol differ from person to person.

On the other hand, certain signs can put the chip in the ear:

  • More and more regular consumption
  • A tendency to drink out of need and no longer just for pleasure.
  • A change in mood or behavior such as aggression, anxiety, sadness, or withdrawal
  • Changes in the rhythm of life, appetite, sleep, frequency of outings
  • Relationship difficulties such as conflicts, breakups, or absences from the workplace …
  • Risk behaviors that are frequent under the effect of alcohol (drinking and driving, sexual risk, etc.)

Moreover, the more the threshold for official recommendations is exceeded, the greater the risk. This threshold is as follows:

  • Women and men: no more than 2 drinks per day.
  • Not every day: at least 2 days a week without consumption.
  • No more than 10 drinks per week.


It is difficult to help someone who does not call for help. And if that person doesn’t see their use as a problem, they won’t understand why they are being asked to change.

The idea is not to force her to stop drinking but to make her realize that her behavior is a problem for those around her and her health.

Help her take care of herself/himself differently

Our relationship with alcohol is very personal. Some see it as a little pleasure to share with friends, others as a comfort to take care of yourself and overcome your problems. When used as a comforter, alcohol can then become a problem. To help this person, suggest other ways to take care of them. It can be a moment of relaxation (massage, yoga), taste pleasure (a dish that he/she likes), a walk-in nature: anything that can do him good without having recourse to alcohol.

You should know that the brain works by association. If every time a person feels bad, they turn to alcohol, their brain will associate these two things: discomfort = need for alcohol. If as soon as she has a bad time, she does something that makes her happy (drawing, gardening, watching her favorite movie, eating her favorite meal, etc.), her brain will remember the possibility of transforming her suffering into pleasure.

As soon as she experiences difficulties, she will have less and less the reflex to turn to alcohol.

Sharing your feelings will help him realize the consequences of his behavior.

Without being in reproach, you can talk to him:

  • Of his behavior under the influence of alcohol
  • Of his words under the influence of alcohol
  • Risks are taken under the influence of alcohol
  • Activities that he/she does not or no longer do because of his alcoholism
  • What you don’t or no longer do together because of your drinking
  • How do you feel when you see him/her drink?
  • Avoid reproach and blackmail

Expressing your concerns and personal feelings is a great way to show that the other person matters to you without devaluing them.


Overwhelmed by worry, fear, or even anger, we no longer seek to understand the reasons that lead those close to us to consume alcohol unreasonably.

Yet it is essential to understand the motivations that drive them to drink. These reasons often hide a deep discomfort: shyness, anxieties, fear of being rejected, trauma, loneliness…

From your perspective, his drinking is destroying him. From her perspective, she probably helps him cope with difficulties daily.

To help him, make him talk: why are you drinking? How does alcohol make you feel?

If he does not want to talk about it with you, invite him to talk about it with third parties:

  • Support telephone lines
  • Doctor
  • Addictology consultations, etc.

These professionals will invite him to take stock of his difficulties without immediately talking about alcoholic treatment near me.

Specializing in the management of addiction problems, the CSAPAs offer free and anonymous consultations. In Reunion, five care centers are specializing in the management of addiction problems.


Your support is essential for your loved one, but this does not mean that you should act on their behalf.

Just like you can’t stop drinking alcohol for him, you can’t make an appointment for him against his will. He must be an actor in this process!

You can make it easier for him in other ways:

*Provide help numbers in Reunion Island

*Offer to accompany him to appointments

*Go to addiction alcohol counseling near me, support, and prevention center to:

  • Find an attentive ear to discuss the difficulties you encounter in a confidential and secure place
  • Obtain information on the risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption,
  • Seek advice from addiction professionals on the best approach to take to help your loved one
  • Experience the reception for yourself so that you can more easily convince your loved ones to go there and guide them

And if he does not act on his own, how do we do it?

Coerced Hospitalization: is it Possible?

It is not possible to force someone to withdraw against their will. However, a person can be hospitalized against their will in certain cases:

A doctor can request compulsory hospitalization when a person presents a danger to himself or others and is unaware of it.

It is always a doctor who must determine whether a forced hospitalization is appropriate. He is also responsible for contacting the hospital center; not family or loved ones.

Hospitalization is then done in a psychiatric or medical psychology service, and not in a service specializing in addictions.

Hospitalization under duress, therefore, allows in certain cases the care of people who are going through times of turmoil, and who are likely to endanger their safety and that of others. It does not make it possible to force them to follow specific treatment for their addiction.


How to save a person from drowning if you are also sinking? This image sums up the importance of taking care of yourself and questioning your limits.

It is therefore essential to protect yourself and to implement certain measures:

Do not be alone in the face of your difficulties.

Whether it’s an addiction professional or someone you know, a listening ear can help you overcome your challenges. You are not alone; other people are going through the same situation as you.

  • Your doctor can direct you to specific organizations and help you in these steps.
  • In Reunion, there are support groups where you can find comforting solidarity and share your experiences with others.
  • Official discussion forums dedicated to those around a loved one addicted to alcohol can also be of great help.
  • Alcohol Info Service is also at your disposal to answer your questions and to help you in your reflection.

Ask yourself about your physical and psychological ability to cope with this situation

What are your limits? Fix them and talk about them with your loved one. What are you ready to accept? What could you do to improve your situation so that you don’t have to go through it anymore?

Take Care of You

By giving yourself moments of personal well-being, you will be more successful in taking a step back and finding new energy and new strategies to put in place.

Are you the victim of violence from a loved one under the influence of alcohol?

While intoxicated, some people may become aggressive or paranoid.

This is partly due to the functioning of the brain: the alcoholic person will focus on the irritation that he feels now, and he will think less about the future consequences of his actions.

Violence can take many forms: verbal and sexual assault, assault, and battery…

Whether or not your loved one is under the influence of alcohol, violence is unacceptable. If a loved one comes after you, you need to act quickly.

1 – File a complaint

Both psychological violence and physical violence are punishable by law. Do not hesitate to call the police or the emergency services in the event of violence and file a complaint. This recourse to the law can make it possible to build a case against your loved one and to protect you and those around you.

2 – Talk to someone you trust.

It is the first step to take to get out of the spiral of fear, loneliness, and often even shame.

You can talk about it:

To a healthcare professional (doctor, pharmacist, or any other trusted professional).

To an association dedicated to violence in Reunion. Consult the ORVIFF brochure here for the contact details of the associations.

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